Pakistan Navy’s Multinational Peace Exercise is being held in February 2021. This exercise has been held every two years since 2007. The Pakistan Navy’s efforts are aimed at enhancing various capabilities by promoting cooperation between the regional and other navies. In this exercise, the forces of many countries come together on a single platform. The crew and delegates on ships from different countries interact with the officers and men of the Pakistan Navy. As a multinational platform, peace helps improve professional relations between the various navies and contributes to a positive image of Pakistan in the eyes of other nations. This exercise is a perfect example of maritime diplomacy and enhances the professionalism of Pakistan Navy personnel as well as the country’s prestige.
The Indian Ocean, as one of the busiest trade routes in the world, carries immense significance. Two-thirds of global oil shipments and one-third of bulk cargo transit pass through the Indian Ocean. About 80% of China’s oil, 90% of South Korea’s oil and 90% of Japan’s oil pass through the Ocean. The exercise promotes a common vision of ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean. And it is designed to ensure that trade in the Indian Ocean continues uninterrupted, with safety and security.
The current exercise is the seventh in a series of peace exercises that the Pakistan Navy has been pursuing for the past two decades. The peace exercise reaffirms Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to “freedom of the seas.” With such exercises, the Pakistan Navy is trying to eliminate all illegal activities in the Indian Ocean and will help maintain a steady flow of trade through the Indian Ocean corridors on a large scale. The exercise also calls for a joint strategy for any kind of relief activity in the region.
The focus of peace exercise is to take effective measures against conventional and unconventional threats such as piracy, smuggling, terrorism, natural disasters, etc. In recent times, there has been a significant reduction in the intensity of maritime crime in the maritime area of Pakistan’s interest. The Pakistan Navy has a key role to play in reducing such incidents through operations conducted under the auspices of the UNSCR Coalition, free patrols and peacekeeping exercises.
The peace exercise begins with an international conference that brings together eminent scholars and professionals in maritime affairs and holds discussions. These discussions examine various maritime security challenges and their implications. Their usefulness is also assessed by finding solutions to tackle these challenges. Phase C of the exercise involves marine forces, including ships, submarines and aircraft. During this time there are naval delegates on various ships who carry out pre-arranged exercises. This allows them to better understand and adapt to each other’s professional practices.
Last year brought a change in the world scene and the lives of mankind in a way that is unprecedented in human history. The year has left a dark and indelible impression on the minds of the people. The daily death toll in the United States was higher than the 9/11 attacks. By the beginning of December 2020, the death toll in the United States was 297,000, compared to 1.52 million worldwide. As of the first week of December, there were 139,700 deaths in India. A new way of human life has begun on the planet and changes are also taking place in it. There is also a risk of further epidemics in the coming years. Mankind will face more problems due to climate change, poor development plans and the scourge of free capitalism. The coronavirus presented a scenario in which the future war would be fought. The combat capability and readiness of any army are directly proportional to the morale and physical fitness of its manpower.
Future military forces that have to deal with the changing nature of war and the serious effects of modern technology must also be prepared to deal with epidemics in the military. These difficulties are exacerbated for navies that have to work long distances in tight spaces. It is not necessary for the machine to completely replace human beings due to development, yet this story is not new. Ancient Greece also suffered a devastating plague during the Paleo-Panacea War in 430 BC. Athens was hit hard by a plague in a battle between two powerful allies of its time, Athens and Sparta. Between one and two-thirds of Athens’s population and a prominent general were killed. The latter also had to give up its attack on the Athenian mainland (Attica) to avoid the disease.
The Indian Ocean is one of the most competitive maritime areas in the world today. The last decade has seen a tremendous upsurge in strategic relations between India and the United States. In just 4 years, three major strategic agreements have been signed between the two countries. After the LEMOA in 2016 and the COMCASA in 2018, the latest negotiations resulted in BECA. The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) will allow the exchange of sensitive, classified information between the two forces, as well as unrestricted access to classified data to each party. This information will be provided by US Satellite. All of this will help navigate and target military assets. In short, India and the United States will now jointly oversee military resources in the region.
Meanwhile, maritime cooperation between the two countries has also expanded. Joint US-Indian naval exercises are a key part of military relations. It is clear that all such joint initiatives are against China and Pakistan, which are the ultimate targets of combining strategic interests. The ultimate goal is to prevent China from entering the Indian Ocean and to deactivate the C-Pack. The recent dossier containing undeniable evidence of the destructive activities carried out by RAW inside Pakistan is the ugly face of the world’s largest democracy, which also claims to be fighting international terrorism.
The world will risk itself by ignoring such heinous conspiracies of Modi’s India. The Indian Ocean and South Asia are in a dangerous situation. A small but strong Pakistani navy maintains “freedom of the seas” but it requires a concerted effort. Peace exercise is a very important step in that direction.